Conventional forms of command and control (C2) in a high-end threat environment are suicide. As signature detection portfolios and long-range precision fires become more capable, the “flash to bang” between sensor and shooter only becomes more compressed. Potential adversaries of the United States are keenly aware of the C2 standard operating procedures used by U.S. military commanders both at sea and ashore and have tailored their tactical grids to exploit the habitual lack of effective signature management. This is no secret to the Sea Services. As early as 2016, the Marine Corps Operating Concept acknowledged that the future operating environment would be one in which to be detected is to be targeted and killed.1
1. Headquarters Marine Corps, Marine Corps Operating Concept (Washington, DC: 2016).
2. Dustin Volz, “Russian Hackers Tracked Ukrainian Artillery Units Using Android Implant: Report,” Reuters, 22 December 2016, reuters.com/article/us-cyber-ukraine/russian-hackers-tracked-ukrainian-artillery-units-using-android-implant-report-idUSKBN14B0CU.
3. Michael Kofman and Leonid Nersisyan, “The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, Two Weeks In,” War on the Rocks, 14 October 2020, warontherocks.com/2020/10/the-second-nagorno-karabakh-war-two-weeks-in/.
4. Mark Pomerleau, “Breaking Down China’s Electronic Warfare tactics,” C4ISRNet, 22 March 2017, c4isrnet.com/c2-comms/2017/03/22/breaking-down-chinas-electronic-warfare-tactics/.
5. Mike Gallagher, “State of (Deterrence by) Denial,” The Washington Quarterly 42, no. 2 (June 2019): 31–45.
6. National Security Strategy of the United States of America (December 2017), whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NSS-Final-12-18-2017-0905.pdf.
7. CAPT Kevin Eyer, USN (Ret), and Steve McJessy, “Operationalizing Distributed Maritime Operations,” CIMSEC, 5 March 2019, cimsec.org/operationalizing-distributed-maritime-operations/39831.
8. Headquarters Marine Corps, “Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations,” U.S. Marine Corps Concepts and Programs, candp.marines.mil/Concepts/Subordinate-Operating-Concepts/Expeditionary-Advanced-Base-Operations/.
9. Jim Lacey, “The ‘Dumbest Concept Ever’ Might Just Win Wars,” War on the Rocks, 29 July 2019, warontherocks.com/2019/07/the-dumbest-concept-ever-just-might-win-wars/.
10. MAJ Brian Kerg, USMC, “Winning the Spectrum,” CIMSEC, 7 August 2020, cimsec.org/winning-the-spectrum-securing-command-and-control-for-marine-stand-in-forces/45122.
11. National Telecommunications and Information Administration, “Department of Defense Strategic Spectrum Plan,” NTIA (November 2007), ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/dod_strategic_spectrum_plan_nov2007.pdf.
12. National Urban Security Technology Laboratory, Radio Frequency Detection, Spectrum Analysis, and Direction Finding Equipment (New York: Department of Homeland Defense, 2019), 12.
13. G. Bark, “Power Control in an LPI Adaptive Frequency-hopping System for HF Communications,” HF Radio Systems and Techniques, Seventh International Conference, Conference Publication no. 441 (August 1997).
14. Syed Shah, “Assured Communications,” Milcom 2015 Presentation (October 2015).
15. Scott Wierzbanowski, “Gremlins,” DARPA, www.darpa.mil/program/gremlins.
16. Kris Osborn, “The U.S. Navy Is Building a Swarm ‘Ghost Fleet,’” The National Interest, 24 January 2019, nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/us-navy-building-swarm-ghost-fleet-42372.
17. Paul Zablocky, “Protected Forward Communications,” DARPA, www.darpa.mil/program/protected-forward-communications.
18. Tom Rondeau, “Hyper-wideband Enabled RF Messaging,” DARPA, www.darpa.mil/program/hyper-wideband-enabled-rf-messaging.
19. DARPA Outreach Office, “The Incredible Loudness of Whispering,” DARPA, www.darpa.mil/news-events/2016-08-30.